But quite honestly, this adventure will take strength, grit, and determination:
David and I are through-hiking the Appalachian Trail!
I’ve alluded to some big adventure that David and I were planning for the near future, but it’s happening a lot sooner than we expected. We planned to hike in 2021, but everything just fell into place that we’re able to do it this year.
Ever since 2004, David has been wanting to attempt a through-hike. He began his trek in Georgia and made it about 700 miles, to Virginia, before he was called to active duty and was deployed to Iraq. Since then, we’ve done a ton of hikes together, to get prepared (I’ve created a page to link to our hiking adventures!). It has taken a long time for me to even be comfortable with the idea of hiking almost 2,200 miles up the eastern states. Aside from Girl Scouts, I was never really into hiking or camping when I was growing up.
If you’re not familiar with the trail, the southern terminus is located on Springer Mountain in Georgia, and the northern terminus is at Mt. Katahdin in Maine. There is no technical “beginning” or “end” because you can go in either direction to complete the trail (northbound or southbound). Some people even flip flop (start in the middle and go north, come back to the middle and head south). The reason that people might do this is because Mt. Katahdin is in Baxter State Park in Maine and the park is the only one on the trail that actually closes (from October to June, typically). If you want to complete the trail in a calendar year but you have time constraints, you have to take that into consideration.
A typical through-hiker will start anywhere between mid February to early April in Georgia and take about 5-6 months to complete. Fun Fact: the fastest completion of the AT was 45 days, 12 hours 15 minutes. That is friggin’ insane!
Our plan is to start this month in Maine, heading south. We’re planning on 4-5 months and hoping for an overall average of 18 miles per day. The first two states will be tough as all get-out and as we keep moving, we should get our hiking legs by the time we get to the less tough states (and this is all relative; the AT is known for being the roller coaster of trails, just going up and down, up and down. ). It passes through 14 states: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina & Georgia.
To get us prepared, David has purchased items for sleeping, cooking, eating, wearing, first-aid…ing, etc. There is so much that goes into the planning, especially since we want to go as light as possible. Pictured below is our summer and winter quilt, our liquid breakfast plan (protein powder, whole milk powder, Carnation Breakfast Essential, and two coffee packets, and our backpacks and items sectioned out into categories.
To get us prepared, we’ve also been taking our daily walks, and try to get in a hike or two (we live about 20 minute from Mount Wachusett). We walk about 2-4 miles daily, and there’s a hill near our house that we’ll walk up twice, with the double stroller!
Interested in seeing our detailed gear videos, and training plans? I have a YouTube channel! It’s called Bliss on the Trail. We’d love to bring you along on our journey!
Have you ever hiked the Appalachian Trail? Or any of the other big 3 (Continental Divide Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail)? If you have any hiking tips, all are welcomed!